Nikon wide zoom lens test/review database

Index

NEW AND BETTER ARTICLE INDEX AT NIKON INDEX
(It is only the new index that will be updated. It doesn't have the ranking yet, but is better and more up-to-date)
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NoLensScoreArticlesBuy
1.Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED N92,69%32Amazon
2.Nikon AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D IF-ED85,67%13Amazon
3.Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR77,08%15Amazon
4.Nikon AF Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5D ED63,23%7Amazon

Help me, help you. You know how ;-) (click, click, click...)

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED N

Image quality rating: 92,69%

Overall rating: 91,64%

Main points:
  • One of the most sharp lenses ever produced
  • Doesn't take front filters, but you can buy an expensive kit if you need it
  • The best wide lens zoom you can get even if you a Canon user


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Nikon Glass
'Anyone who shoots with this lens for the first time will be surprised with the results. The amount of detail, the sharpness and the overall performance of this lens are outstanding! Overall the performance is excellent from wide open till f/8 at all focal lengths. Between 20mm-24mm the excellent performance continues on till f/16. Even f/22 produces very good results.'
Photographylife
'There is a reason why so many people fall in love with this lens – as you saw from the tests, it is the finest ultra-wide angle zoom lens available today with razor-sharp performance and contrast. Its corner performance is unbelieveable at all focal lengths wide open at f/2.8 and even better above f/4.0, while center sharpness always stays stellar at all focal lengths and apertures. The Nikon 14-24mm shines on the FX sensor and is even better on DX, although I personally think that it is too much of a lens for DX – I would hate to see its corners cut off.'
Terry White
'his Nikkor lens takes things up to a whole new level. It’s fast and the focus is spot on. There’s not much more I can say about it. It’s bigger and heavier than my previous lens, but it’s also much better quality! You just can’t go wrong with good glass.'
William Beam
'So much for the obvious. Now let’s get into the heart and soul of this lens.  How do you use it as an artist? In my opinion, that’s really where the Nikon 14-24mm lens shines – it provides creative possibilities unmatched by any other lens. For me, it allows my camera to capture the grandeur of a scene when space is limited.'
16-9
'Thus far, then, we might reasonably conclude that the 14-24mm is as good as the 24L at the long end. I'm going to say that again, because if that really pans out to be true, it would be almost beyond belief: the Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 G appears to be as good as the Canon 24mm f1.4 L.'
byThom
5/5
3/5
'The 14-24mm is a fantastic lens. Optically, it's everything I've ever wanted in a wide angle zoom, and it's a clear cut above the much loved 17-35mm in that respect. If you really have to have filter capability, you can get a very expensive Lee SW150 filter holder kit (which in turn uses expensive 150mm filters; see link below). Since getting the 14-24mm, I've shuffled my 17-35mm off to the farm to enjoy its retirement in peace.'
ePhotozine
'Buying the Nikon for use on a full frame 21Mp digital body is an exceptionally good idea. There is no other wide angle in the 21mm range that can deliver the impecable standards except the Carl Zeiss 21mm and the Nikon 14-24mm. Both are superb lenses that I would be happy to own, but it is the additional focal lengths and the cheaper cost that keep me waving the Nikon flag more vigorously than ever. It's a truly stunning lens with such an incredible array of performance capabilities, I cannot hesitate in recommending it to everyone I meet. '
ePhotozine
'A well built and presented optic that breaks new ground on the camera it is designed for. Excellent image quality only slightly let down by the distortion at the wide end, something that can be easily sorted in post processing.'
ePhotozine
5/5
4.5/5
'This lens is one of a kind. In terms of resolution, handling and even its resistance to flare and ghosting this lens is excellent, and it outperforms primes in the same focal range.'
Fredmiranda.com
9.9/10
'I do a lot of portrait shooting and wedding photography here in the Miami Florida area. This is one of my favorite lenses to use period. If you like shooting wide and are looking for a mega sharp lens with limited distortion this is the one for you.'
Dreamscapes
'he Nikon 14-24mm zoom is truly amazing. Heavy and unwieldy, yes. Expensive, but cheaper than buying a bunch of matching primes. In my opinion, it is simply the best lens in its class for full-frame digital cameras, whether for Nikon—or Canon—users!'
Imagepower
'To cut a long story short the mere optical quality of this new zoom lens made me sell my beloved, wonderfully designed, trusted AF 14mm/2.8 for in my heart I knew I would always long for the lesser vignetting, higher resolution and crisper contrast of the newcomer.'
Ishootshows.com
'In fact, the Nikon 14-24mm presented such a meaningful increase in sharpness over the entire field that Canon users were clamoring for an adapter to mount this Nikon ultra-wide on their 1D Mark-III and 1D Mark-IVs.'
Joe McNally
'It’s the perfect lens for the tight spaces of a sub.'
Ken Rockwell
'This 14-24mm is a huge, expensive and special-purpose lens. For 99% of the people reading this, the newer 16-35mm f/4 VR is a much better lens because it is smaller, lighter, has a more useful zoom range, it's easier to use, takes filters and is slightly sharper, too.'
Kent Yu Photography
'If you are choosing between the three top class lenses, you should probably focus on which one suits your photography style rather than their optical performance. From my experience, I can say they all produce excellent work and their build quality is top notch.  In most cases, you won’t even notice the difference. However, I do notice the AF on the 24mm f/1.4 does seem to be a bit slower in comparison to the 14-24mm and 24-70mm.'
Lenstip
'Excellent parameters, simply outstanding image sharpness, perfect build quality, efficient and accurate autofocus and only two minor flaws'
Moment Corporation
'This is an amazing piece of glass, it's performance is truly amazing. With excellent sharpness even in the corners @ f/2.8, you start to realize the potential of this lens. The lens is really well balanced on the D3, the focus and zoom ring have just the right feel to them. The new weather seal on this lens is also a good upgrade over previous lenses made by Nikon. In my tests I did not have any big issues with flare or CA with this lens. People who enjoy ultra wide angle photography will be amazed by this lens, it outperforms the AF 14mm with ease. Comparing it to the 17-35mm, the 14-24mm is still a winner when it comes to the optical quality, with sharper pictures on f/2.8. '
Bjorn Rorslett
5/5
'This is the new reference for wide-angle zoom lenses. Super sharp, only vestiges of corner fall-off at 14mm @ f/2.8, high contrast, vividly saturated colours, quite low propensity for flare and ghosting (as zoom lenses go), what more can you require? OK, some users find the lack of a filter feature a disadvantage and it's true the lens is quite heavy and not very small. But it handles so well you just go on shooting and never mind such nit-picks. A real work-horse and it balances so well to be a perfect match for the D3.'
Photoreview
9/10
'That said, the review lens turned in an impressive performance when pushed very close to its limits. We certainly succeeded in forcing it to flare but, with backlit subjects, we were often able to produce punchy-looking contre-jour shots with only a little post-capture editing.'
Photozone
4/5
4.5/5
'The Nikkor AF-S 14-24 is an impressive ultra wide angle zooms lens that outperforms most of the prime lenses in its range resolution wise, with its fast aperture allows for low light shooting (or alternatively some object separation with limited depth of field) and is built solid enough to withstand the hard treatment of a working professional (allthough this, combined with the huge amount of glass, makes it the heaviest ultra wide around and also one of the most expensive).'
Photozone
5/5
5/5
'The Nikkor AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED N is a phenomenal lens. It is the sharpest ultra-wide angle lens tested to date. The resolution figures are simply stunning and unprecedented specifically at 14mm and that's straight from the maximum aperture setting.'
Photozone
4/5
4/5
'The Nikkor AF-S 14-24 is an impressive wide angle zooms lens that outperforms most of the prime lenses in its range resolution wise, with its fast aperture allows for low light shooting (or alternatively some object separation with limited depth of field) and is built solid enough to withstand the hard treatment of a working professional (allthough this, combined with the huge amount of glass, makes it the heaviest wide zoom around and also one of the most expensive).'
Pixiq
'The Nikon 14-24mm ƒ2.8. A wonderful piece of glass, a triumph of optics and engineering. But I’d wondered ever since I bought it more than two years ago why on earth it went down as far as 14mm. In the old days — my old days, anyway — 20mm was very wide. There was an 18mm that seemed too specialised, too extreme, and for most people a 24mm lens did the job well enough.'
Pop photo
'Though expensive, this lens will prove well worth its price to any Nikonian who needs maximum wide-angle views with a minimum of optical distortion.'
Richard Peters Photography
'The 14-24 is everything you’ve heard it is and if you want the very best you really can’t go wrong. It’s sharp wide open, has good distortion control of straight lines and is built to last.'
Sam Hurd Photography
5/5
'This lens is a landmark in Nikon’s collection. I can’t see them improving on its design for literally 20 years – and even then I don’t know how they could. It doesn’t’ need VR (if you can’t handhold shooting that wide then you’ve just got poor technique), but it could use a smaller front element if that were at all possible.'
Stuck in customs
'This is the best wide angle lens I have ever used. Whenever I am standing with a fellow photographer that has a Nikon DSLR, I immediately force them to remove whatever lens they happen to have on and put this one on so they can try it out. They are amazed too.'
SLR Gear
9.88/10
9.5/10
'The Nikon 14-24mm ƒ/2.8G is an excellent wide-angle pro lens, with only two substantial flaws: lens flare, and the inability to attach filters'
Rob Mitchell
'The Nikon 14mm might be a discontinued lens but it is obviously still very capable, even on the megapixel monster of the D800E. There are obvious differences between it and the newer Nikon 14-24mm. More colour fringing, heavier distortion at the extremes, less contrast. I hate to say it, but all are fixable in post.'
Light Harvesting
'In my years of shooting landscapes, I have never used a better lens, it is my tool of choice for architecture and landscape work. It’s sharp as you would ever want, sufers minimally from chromatic aberration or distortion (other than wild perspectives!)'
Glenn Nagel Photography
'Overall, I would rate the ease of use to be excellent--and much better than I anticipated.'


Nikon AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D IF-ED

Image quality rating: 85,67%

Overall rating: 87,56%

Main points:
  • A great sharp lens
  • Has been a legend for years
  • Might need to stop down to get corner sharpness
  • f/5.6 is the best par of this lens


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
byThom
5/5
4/5
'Sharpness is strong throughout the range, with f/5.6 being the point of maximum sharpness on my sample. But even at f/2.8 in the corners this lens is an excellent performer. Frankly, at 18mm and f/2.8 this zoom beats the pants off the 18mm f/2.8D Nikkor in the corners. That's right, a zoom lens is better than a prime lens!'
Nikon Glass
'Digital is another beast requiring much better and modern designs. Though the only digital bodies that can use this lens are the 12MP D700 and D3 series. . It's got great optics, mechanics and performance, and you pay for it.'
Moment Corporation
5/5
5/5
'For a working pro this is a must have lens. This lens handles everything you throw at it, good contrast, excellent sharpness, and it also controls flair and ghosting pretty good too(as much as possible for a wide angle lens).This is by far the sharpest wide angle zoom I`ve ever used. It pretty much outperforms the Nikkor primes.'
16-9
'The Nikon is troubled by an uneven field of focus which may or may not be adaptor-related: the occasional misfire in this regard allows the Canon 17-40L to come very close in outright imaging terms: sharper in the centre overall but, compared to the Nikon 17-35mm, not improving as rapidly into the extreme corner with stopping down.'
16-9
'If you're wondering whether the Contax N 17-35mm is the next best thing, it may well be: but if you can live without the automation, and are prepared to build a few extra Photoshop actions into your workflow, the Nikon 17-35mm f2.8 will deliver equally stunning images for a lot less money.'
Photozone
3.5/5
3.5/5
'The Nikkor AF-S 17-35mm f/2.8D IF-ED is a professional grade lens and it delivers accordingly specifically regarding its superb build quality. The optical quality is on a very high though not unprecedented level.'
Imagepower
'Optical quality of the AF-S 17-35 is in line with very good primes'
SLR Gear
9.4/10
9.33/10
'As good as it gets for a wide angle zoom lens.'
Ken Rockwell
4.5/5
5/5
'Nikon didn't screw around here. If you need the best, don't mind the weight on your shoulders and the lightness in your wallet, this is for you.'
Fredmiranda.com
9.2/10
'The 17-35 is not as sharp as the 14-24, but it is much more useful for weddings, where you need something that can go very wide for tight shots to just under normal for groups.'
Bjorn Rorslett
4.75/5
'On the D3, the 17-35 behaves in an exemplary fashion. Only a small amount of vignetting into the extreme corners occurs at the widest end, and stopping down helps mitigate the issue. However, the age of the design is shown by corner sharpness @17mm being less crisp unless you stop down well beyond f/5.6. So I have reduced the rating ever so slightly to cater for this observation. The AFS 17-35 Nikkor is rapidly becoming one of the Nikon legends. You cannot go wrong with this lens.'
Dxomark
Photozone
3/5
3/5
'Even though the Nikkor AF-S 17-35mm f/2.8D IF-ED is the oldest lens in Nikon's current line-up of professional wide angle zooms, it certainly doesn't look outdated. Far from it, actually. The sharpness in the image center is oustanding, stopped down the lens delivers very good resolution at the borders and corners, too. Wide open, however, the borders and especially the extreme corners lack sharpness.'


Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR

Image quality rating: 77,08%

Overall rating: 78,73%

Main points:
  • First Nikon wide zoom with VR, but do you need it?
  • Good value for the money
  • Best performance if you stop down to f/5.6


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Photographylife
'Can I call this lens a breakthrough? Absolutely! As you can see from the sharpness comparison tests, the Nikon 16-35mm f/4.0 VR beats both the legendary Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8D and my favorite Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G, especially in the corners. The 17-35mm and the 24-70mm lenses have been known as some of the best Nikon zoom lenses ever produced and the new lightweight Nikon 16-35mm f/4.0 VR proved to be better than both wide open at f/4.0. As can be seen from my Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G Review, the Nikon 16-35mm is as sharp in the center and only weaker in the corners.'
Nikon Glass
'Even though slightly overpriced for what it really is, the AFS 16-35mm f/4 is an excellent lens for all those landscapers out there. Overall the 16-35mm lens can produce high resolution images throughout the aperture and focal length range but more precisely, best performance is between f/5.6 and f/16 and from 18mm to 30mm. So if you are shooting landscapes, then this lens will serve you well. On the other hand if you are thinking of buying this lens for anything else other than shooting landscapes, you may be disappointed. One exception may be travelers and street photography, since the light weight and the VR technology may be a bonus for them. Wedding and event photographers may also be interested in this lens, but I personally feel that the AFS 14-24mm f/2.8 is a better investment for them. The lens is a winner in my eyes even at the high asking price'
Photozone
3.5/5
3.5/5
'On our 10 MP DX test camera, the Nikkor AF-S 16-35 VR is a very good wide-angle to normal zoom lens that shows excellent resolution in the center and very good border and corner sharpness at most focal length and aperture settings. Distortion is well under control, the same is true for vignetting and chromatic aberrations. The build quality is excellent and in line with other professional Nikkor lenses. So, in summary, it's a very attractive lens for DX shooters.'
Photozone
3/5
3/5
'On our 16 MP DX test camera, the Nikkor AF-S 16-35 VR is a very good wide-angle to normal zoom lens that shows very good to excellent resolution in the center and very good border and corner sharpness at short and medium focal length settings. Only at 35mm the lens struggles on the high pixel density of the D7000's DX sensor. Distortion is well under control, the same is true for vignetting and chromatic aberrations. The build quality is excellent and in line with other professional Nikkor lenses. So, in summary, it's not an unattractive lens for DX shooters'
Photozone
2.5/5
2.5/5
'Even if it's still a good lens, this is probably not the level of performance many had expected from it, especially regarding corner sharpness. However, for many it might nonetheless be the more attractive lens compared to the Nikon AF-S 14-24, since it has also a few strong selling points. First of all, it has a front filter thread and that feature alone will make it more appealing to anyone intending to use ND, IR or CPL filters on a regular basis. VR will also be more useful than a large aperture for those who need to shoot stopped down to increase depth of field in low light. Last but not least, the lens is not completely free of flare, but it needs strong backlight with the sun either inside or just outside of the frame to produce visible flare.'
ePhotozine
4/5
4.5/5
'Overall this lens is a very good all round performer being capable of producing images of very good resolution, especially in the centre of the frame where the performance is excellent up to 24mm and very good thereafter. The performance in this respect isn't as stunning as the 14-24mm lens as I'd hoped, but is still very respectable indeed.'
Imagepower
'In fact I am extremely happy with that lens.'
CameraStuffReview
8.8/10
'This Nikon 16-35 mm VR II review, using a Nikon D800E, shows that zoom lenses exist that will beat fixed focal length lenses when you consider optical performance. The Nikon 16-35 mm VR belongs to the best lenses we have tested so far. In our eyes the cons of this lens weigh much less than the pros. Those who can afford a Nikon 16035 mm 4G VR II (and a Nikon D800E) will have a lot of fun from their purchase.'D800E
SLR Gear
9.29/10
9.14/10
'The 16-35mm ƒ/4G VR is an impressive design, providing excellent results for sharpness at its wider angles. It's evident that the optics of this lens are quite complex, to deliver high sharpness across the frame with only moderate chromatic aberration and vignetting and at a relatively affordable price. The only con would be its large distortion particularly at 16mm, but then, that's true of most ultrawide angles. Many people have questioned the inclusion of VR for a wide-angle lens, but with dSLR cameras being used more and more for video production the image stabilization finds a very warm reception. Nikon will probably sell a lot of these lenses.'
DP Review
12/14
12/14
'Overall, image quality is pretty impressive. The lens is very sharp in the center of the frame at almost all settings, and while the extreme corners are a little soft wide open on full frame (especially at 16mm), they sharpen up well on stopping down to normal working apertures. Chromatic aberration is also strikingly low, which contributes greatly to producing clean-looking images. At its very best - stopped down to F8 or F11, and especially around the 24mm mark - the lens's rendition of fine detail right across the frame is simply breathtaking. Throw in excellent build quality, fast and silent focusing, plus efficient VR, and this all adds up to a very desirable package.'
PhotoReview
9/10
'The review lens turned in an impressive performance in Photo Review's Imatest tests, which showed consistently high resolution throughout the aperture and focal length range. The highest resolution figures came from the 28mm focal length, while the 16mm focal length gave the lowest figures, which were relatively low from f/4 to f/5, after which they rose to just below the figures for the other focal length settings.'
Ken Rockwell
'This said, for most of us reading this, this 16-35mm is the sharpest and best-handling ultrawide zoom ever made. Get the 17-55mm f/2.8 if you need solid metal or f/2.8, otherwise, I'm going to grab this 16-35mm long before I'd use the heavier 17-35mm again.'
Dxomark
Steve Wakeman Photography
'Overall I really enjoy using this lens. The amount of distortion at the wide end is a little disappointing but no lens is perfect and the pluses; range, filters and cost still make it a valid choice for a Nikon shooter's ultra wide. If you want better optics in an ultra wide, can live without (regular) filters, the extra focal range and are prepared to pay more then of course the 14-24 is the lens to buy over the 16-35.'
Talkurbex
'There has never been a more simple recommendation – if you need an ultra wide, buy the Nikon 16-35mm f/4. It really is that good. If you shoot fast sports with low light moving subjects then VRII will not help you so much so weigh up your options. Like I said previously, an ultrawide than is as sharp as 50mm prime is significant.'


Nikon AF Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5D ED

Image quality rating: 63,23%

Overall rating: 72,83%

Main points:
  • A solid performer
  • Good value for the money
  • Need to stop down past f/5.6 to get good results
  • For DX choose some of the Kit lens instead


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
byThom
4/5
5/5
'I was both impressed and disappointed with this lens. Impressed with the results stopped down and the reasonable amount of light falloff (not as visible as with the Sigma 18-35mm, for example). On the other hand, at wider apertures, the corners are visibly soft and the center is not quite as good as the Nikkor 20-35mm f/2.8'
Photozone
3/5
2/5
'The Nikkor AF 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5D ED is capable of producing images with excellent resolution in the image center and very good sharpness across most of the image frame when shooting at and beyond f/5.6. However, the border and corner performance is far less impressive due to the lack of contrast and resolution when used wide open at the short end, a setting that should be avoided for shots that require good sharpness across the whole frame.'
Photozone
1.5/5
1.5/5
'The lens delivers very good to excellent sharpness in the image center, but that's about all the good news we can report. The borders and corners are poor for most of the zoom range and the lens needs to be stopped down considerably to achieve acceptable sharpness down to the image corners. Distortion is very high and unfortunately not uniform at the widest setting, but smoothens and decreases when zooming in. Vignetting is quite high wide open, especially at short focal lengths, but can be reduced by stopping down. CAs are also significantly higher at the short end of the zoom range, but can easily be cured in post processing.'
SLR Gear
8.29/10
8.43/10
'The Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 is a good-performing, well-built, smoothly-operating wide-to-normal zoom lens. If you frequently find yourself shooting within its focal length range, it would be a good step up from typical kit lenses.'
Ken Rockwell
'This is a fun little lens and it makes great sharp images far better than it has any right to. Unless you have a spare extra $1,000 in your pocket or need low distortion then this is the clear winner. '
Fredmiranda.com
8.7/10
'Wide-open image quality is definitely usable, but not great. Stopped-down to F/5.6 and beyond it's very good - not significantly worse than its big brother the 17-35 AF-S (I tried). The wide end is always a little better than the 35mm end. Corner softness is an issue, but only in the very extreme FX corners, and goes away completely by F/8.'
Bjorn Rorslett
3.5/5


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